Darkmatter Berlin / A parallel world

A spotlight on the interactive exhibition space in Berlin.

Hidden in the pitch-black rooms of a converted factory in Berlin emerges a revolutionary audiovisual escapade with seven interactive instalments (LIQUID SKY, INVERSE, CIRCULAR, BONFIRE, POLYGON PLAYGROUND, GRID, TONE LADDER) and a temporary light show named TENSOR, on view till September 2023. DARK MATTER is just one of Christopher Bauder and WHITEvoid’s latest projects, but stands grandiose (literally) in the artist’s portfolio of esteemed oeuvre, as the composition spans across 1,000 square meters of exhibition space.

A venue of substantial magnitude, which is only amplified by the darkness that has seemingly conquered its territory, engulfs the audience, numbing all senses at its outset, just to reignite an array of sensations as the exhibitions unfold. Isolated by its four surrounding walls, each installation emerges as a living, breathing entity, set apart from its counterparts not only by its unique technologically sophisticated structure, but also by the emotional response it ineluctably garners from its spectators. Here is a truly interactive performance of contemporary complexion, a place where the human psyche gets to experience and interact with technology on a radical scale. Ever since the dawn of mankind we have pursued intimacy and familiarity in one way or another, our strive for warmth driving us ever closer to the conception of the modern computer.

Technological advancements have infiltrated our lives in unimaginable ways, and today we spend more time engaging with them on a daily basis than ever before. Somewhat romantic and slightly unnerving, this idea is explored throughout the entirety of DARK MATTER, and reaches its pinnacle in BONFIRE. A 5-meter tall, three-dimensional arrangement of 20,000 light points emerges as spectators walk towards what resembles a large bonfire set aflame while the audience gathers around it. The collective unconscious gazes in awe at the primitive image of one of the earliest forms of a social gathering, and despite it being far from the real thing, BONFIRE “kindles” our primordial itch for warmth and a sense of community. Mind-boggling, ironic, dizzying and at times unsettling,

DARK MATTER reinforces our symbiosis with technology by employing striking visual and auditory techniques, which in turn create a conceptual vacuum, a space where the spiritual, metaphysical and empirical exist as one in a complex, unfaltering love affair. These are the principles which are at the forefront of our existence, but by nature, we have always had a profound fascination with the unknown and the obscure. Contrary to the permanent exhibitions, a temporary spectacle titled “TENSOR” tackles this and other issues in a massive light show composed of 400 suspended lights, floating above the audience. Set against the backdrop of Bauder’s technologically savvy and visually engaging light performance and groundbreaking British musician Akiko Haruna’s striking electronic sound, the large-scale sculpture is a challenge for the senses. The 45-minute show begins around sunset and repeats continuously throughout the evening, prompting a truly alien experience for its spectators – a voyage through a strange world derived of human context and familiarity. While DARK MATTER encourages affinity and interconnection between humans and computers, TENSOR exploits the senses as a means to disrupt our equilibrium and biological rhythms. The body is left in an altered state of consciousness and dream-like confusion.

DARK MATTER encourages us to explore our relationship with technology in an age where we seem to be so innately interconnected with it, it’s almost impossible to put this notion into perspective. At its core, the exhibition serves as a parallel universe, a place where people of all ages and walks of life can interact with the digital world on an unprecedented scale.

Darkmatter Berlin / A parallel world


Venue: Darkmatter/ @darkmatter
Words: Sedef Nihat / @sedefnihat

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